About Us

Who We Are

Founded in 2013, The Knowledge Institute serves as a champion at, and hub for, the professional and academic development of young people in Swaziland, with the aim of transforming them into leaders.

Our core areas of operation are:

The Knowledge Institute is an education-to-employment venture that thinks globally and acts locally, through thought leadership, global partnership, and most importantly: bold, local action.


The mission of The Knowledge Institute is to identify and develop excelling high school students, and equipping them with the requisite knowledge and skills to be the country's entrepreneurial, impactful and socially-responsible future leaders.


Developiong Swaziland's future leaders across all fields.

  • Academic excellence
  • Leadership
  • An entrepreneurial mind set
  • Technology and innovation
  • Civic engagement
  • Self-awareness
  • Financial Literacy
  • Global fluency

Youth Development

The Swaziland Young Leaders Fellowship Program

The SYLFP 2015 Cohort with an Old Mutual representative

Through a rigorous selection process, the Institute identifies 30 high school students performing at the 10th percentile (90% average academic performance), named The Swaziland Young Leaders Fellowship Program (SYLFP). These scholars go through a six-month long program aimed at their comprehensive development as leaders.

The Knowledge Institute brings together academic research, policy analysis, review of working models, and personal experienced to the design of the Swaziland Young Leaders Fellowship Program.

To date there have been three cohorts of the SYLFP. Our fellows have gone on to study medicine, economics, linguistics, forestry, engineeringly and many other disciplines in various universities all over the world while some have gone on to start their own businesses.

The Knowledge Institute identified the following areas of focus for the Swaziland Young Leaders Fellowship Program:

  • Leadership
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Civic Engagement
  • Financial Literacy
  • Information Technology

Impact to date:

Our fellows have gone on to study in various local tertiary institutions, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Turkey, South America, South Africa and Mauritius.

Fellows reviewing a case study on Leadership during the 2014 SYLFP

Nompumelelo Mduli (SYLFP 2014) setting up her shop: Turkish Quality Wear in Checkers Mbabane

The fellows have also taken the lessons taught to them and applied them in their individual lives and shared them with their communities for the advancement of society.

Some fellows have become innovators, developing new products for the market while others have started successfully businesses while still studying towards their first degrees.


  • The Knowledge Institute is a web hub of research on education and related youth issues in Swaziland and Africa. We review and publish thought leadership with a broad focus on economic development, technology, political inclusion, entrepreneurship, and other areas as they relate to the youth.

  • In addition to advocacy through highlighted issues in published works, we provide insights and recommendations for youth development to policy and other decision makers.

    In 2016 The Knowledge Institute embarked on its First global survey. The aim of the survey is to develop statistics around the number of people who have received an education outside of Swaziland, as well as how those opportunities were available to them so as to strengthen our information systems.

  • The Knowledge Institute also disseminates information on scholarship opportunities available to Swazi students through social mediacy (www.facebook.com/SwazilandStudentNetwork) as well as through a weekly column in the Times of Swaziland every Tuesday.

Meet our team

Phumlile Arubayi
Communication Coordinator

Phumlile Arubayi is a final year student at the University of Swaziland ...

Siyabonga Ndwandwe
Data and Research Coordinator

Siyabonga graduated from Macalester College in 2015 with a BA in Economics ...

Siphosethu Mzileni
Swaziland Young Leaders Fellowship Program Coordinator

Siphosethu Mzileni is studying towards a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Swaziland ...

Sephutile Sihle Mhlongo
Co-founder & Country Director

Sephutile Sihle Mhlongo is a graduate of the University of Swaziland ...


Although physically based in Swaziland, The Knowledge Institute's network is global

  • True to our core value at "global fluency", we welcome mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships with organizations and individuals from around the world, particularly in the following: software development, curriculum development, academic recruiting and general capacity building.

  • Over the years we have partnered with (regionally) The African Leadership Academy, The African Leadership University, The Anzisha Prize, Minerva Schools at KGI, The University of Pretoria/MasterCard Foundation, Earth Universoty and The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.

  • Locally we have worked with youth-oriented institutions such as MTN Foundation Swaziland, Enactus Swaziland, Junior Achievement Swaziland, Vital Voices Swaziland, Young Climbers, Peace Corps Swaziland, The Times of Swaziland, as well as various leading companies in the corporate sector.

Sephutile Mhlongo (Country Director) with Minerva's Recruitment Manager Fatou Badiane-Toure